Troy Chamber President, Tara Tomcsik-Husak interviews hotelier and Chamber Board member Greg Kroesing, Director of Sales and Marketing of Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit-Troy/Auburn Hills.
TARA: Hi Greg, thank you so much for agreeing to talk to our members about how your business is adapting during the pandemic. We know Covid-19 is affecting every industry, but especially for our Hospitality Members, including Restaurants and Hotels. In what ways have Covid19 affected the Embassy Suites and the hospitality industry as a whole?
GREG: Covid-19 has dealt the hospitality industry a tough blow. With government issued travel restrictions, social distancing, and restaurant/lounge services being limited to carryout, our typical hotel or meeting guest has almost disappeared. It is especially difficult for us, as we had to temporarily lay off 90% of our team members. Unfortunately, this is what nearly every hotel across the nation is experiencing.
TARA: I am sure that must be heartbreaking for you and everyone in the hotel industry. Is there a way that others can help support hotels?
GREG: The Embassy Suites public areas and meeting space just completed a $4 Million refresh last year, and we want people to see it. When this is all over, we need companies to start looking at booking groups and meetings. It’s the perfect opportunity to get away from distractions at your local office and focus on the topic at hand, or even to celebrate with your team after working remotely for such a long time.
I’d also encourage people to make future reservations. Let’s face it, kids are already stir-crazy, and once things get back to normal, it would be great to treat them to our hotel for a staycation and enjoy all the amenities; like our large indoor pool, made-to-order breakfast, and even complimentary cocktails (for the parents).
TARA: As frustrating as this is, I know you are still finding creative ways to look for business to keep your hotel thriving. Would you be willing to share how you are trying to grow business during this time?
GREG: I can’t speak on behalf of all hotels, but unlike some hotels that have or are considering closing their doors, we have a strong presence in the market as an executive caliber legacy brand. I like to think of this property as Troy’s best kept secret. Our hotel is still open, and we are not going anywhere. While our normal sources of business have dried up, we are embracing the change and letting go of the way we have always done things, to uncover new opportunities of business. We are looking to be a resource for displaced families for whatever reason (house floods, catches on fire, etc.), Medical (first responders, doctors, nurses that want to self-quarantine and/or work away from home, trucking companies for relocation and extended stay travel. The here and now is all really related around this COVID-19 mess. Our property works very well to support families displaced from their home for any reason, since every suite is nearly double the size of a traditional hotel room.
TARA: As the health and safety of customers and staff become adherently important, what ways are you promoting safety at the Embassy Suites in Troy?
GREG: We take great pride in maintaining the highest level of cleanliness. In response to the coronavirus, we have taken additional measures developed in consultation with health authorities to make cleaning protocols even more rigorous:
– Our team is receiving ongoing briefings and enhanced operations protocols.
– We have increased the frequency of cleaning our public areas (including lobbies, elevators, door handles, public bathrooms, high touch areas, etc.) and have continued the use of hospital-grade disinfectant.
– We will continue to adjust food and beverage services in accordance with current food safety recommendations.
– We have increased the deployment of hand sanitizers throughout the property
We are very fortunate to be a part of Hilton Worldwide family and have all the support of their many resources.
TARA: What advice/tips can you give to our members?
GREG: Pay it forward. Imagine the inspiration and sense of community we could create by simply helping the next person.
Stay positive, be strong and be kind!
TARA: Thanks Greg for giving us a look into the hotel industry during this pandemic. We really appreciate all your insight and tips you shared with us. Do you have anything else you would like to share with our members today?
GREG: My advice for anyone is stay close and stay in touch. I think the chamber team has done a really great job in helping us during this time. The Troy Chamber has been pushing hard to keep us informed and connected and we are just grateful.
To feature your company in the Blog Series: The Effects of COVID-19 on Industry, please contact Troy Chamber President, Tara Tomcsik-Husak.
>> Email Tara Tomcsik-Husak